Gonzalez concerned knee could impact playing career

Mon Aug 30, 2010 6:55pm EDT
 
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By Matt Majendie

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Three-time Olympic medalist Fernando Gonzalez says he fears for his future as a player after an injury forced him out of his first-round match at the U.S. Open on Monday.

The 30-year-old, in only his second match since the French Open, was forced to retire while 7-6 1-6 0-1 down to Croatian qualifier Ivan Dodig with a nagging knee injury that has been bothering him since before Wimbledon.

"I'm worried and I'll have to see what will happen," said the Chilean. "I'm not thinking about retirement quite yet but I've had a really bad six months and, if this was to go on for longer, maybe two years, then I would have to see."

Gonzalez, with a career-high ranking of fifth, was tipped as a future grand slam winner when he booked his place in the final of the 2007 Australian Open. The following year he won gold and silver at the Beijing Olympics to add to a previous bronze at the 2004 Games in Athens.

But he has since fallen to 29th in the world rankings and, unless he can sort out his knee complaint, expects to fall further down the standings.

"It's been 30 weeks out now and I will now take more time out to make the right decision for what I have to do," he said. "The prognosis isn't that bad but that doesn't solve the problem that it's still really painful."

(Editing by Frank Pingue)